Jenny Dodge


Alternative Education

Chuck away your clipboards, children,
bung your biros in the bin!
Ready for your Nature lesson?
Settle down and we’ll begin.

Pay attention, everybody!
First, you must remove your shoes,
then your socks and, in good order,
flush them firmly down the loos!

Take off badges, ties and blazers,
heap them high and even higher,
top them tidily with textbooks,
douse with turps and set on fire!

Follow me! We’ll seek for meadows
where you can run wild and free,
streams where you can paddle barefoot,
woods where you can climb a tree.

Bag a beetle, catch a tadpole,
pick a cowslip flower and smell it!
I won’t give a tinker’s cuss, dears,
if you don’t know how to spell it.

Do you want to spend a lifetime
shackled to a grey computer?
Children, rise against the teacher!
Students, up and hang the tutor!


purpleLJenny Dodge was born in Cambridge, UK, and grew up in a village surrounded by wheat, barley and sugar beet. She is old enough to remember the GIs arriving and taking over the Elizabethan manor house as their head quarters. They installed central heating. She went to school in Cambridge and took an Honours degree in English at Bristol University, married a doctor, lived in the Nigerian bush, had three sons, moved to New Zealand, moved back to England and now lives in Warwick. Her grandchildren range in age from 24 to 2 years. Loves writing, but autobiography is not for her, so fill in the details for yourselves!